A Mother’s Day Whodunit
By Terry Baxter
Jane Silverman gave me a jolt when she posted on Facebook that an anonymous gal sent her an orchid on Mother’s Day with a note saying “All You Need Is Love.” Sweet. Sweet and mysterious. I called Jane and asked her how she knew it was an anonymous woman. Jane said, “After checking with my relatives and unearthing no confessions, Mike was beginning to theorize a secret admirer. So I called R.F. Orchids and coerced them into telling me about the anonymous woman who sent more than a hundred orchids to Mothers across Ocean Reef. How nice. I wish I could thank her.”
I must say my investigative reporter juices started flowing. Just as with Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, the game was afoot. How to find the benefactor? I consulted my Mystery Solving Handbook, which advised 1. Look for a pattern. So I painstakingly assemble a list of recipient’s name, and cross-referenced them to ORC Groups – Questers, Anglers, Bonefish Bonnies, Racquet Club, Yacht Club, and Card Sound. No pattern emerged. The women were members of an array of groups. What did they have in common? They were each lovely, kind, and active in the community. That describes 90% of the women at Ocean Reef. Who said solving a mystery was easy?
Back to the Mystery Solving Handbook. 2. Look for a symbol or code words. We can thank Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code for this brand of solutions, but I plunged in. The note with the orchids said “All You Need Is Love.” The first letter of each word (AYNIL) can be rearranged to spell “inlay.” Ah Ha! After a moment, the “Ha” faded away…this was clearly no breakthrough. Another dead end, but I couldn’t give up. Some thoughtful and generous person had brightened the day for many of my friends. They deserved our heartfelt appreciation. Persistence.
Handbook. 3. Be alert for a confidential tip. A wellconnected friend approached me as I was on my way to the dinner table. She said, “I understand you are pursuing the Mother’s Day case.” I nodded. She whispered conspiratorially, “You’ll find the answer in radio frequency,” then slipped away. Wait. What, on the radio? She just smiled enigmatically. I scratched my head. Radio frequency? Yikes, was this another coded message? Radio Frequency! Holy Da Vinci, I saw it. Do you? It’s elementary dear Watson.